An active lifestyle can be hard to maintain when you are stuck behind a desk most of the week, however chances are if you have kids you will have some time off this summer or at least have the weekend to get yourself moving. Help keep yourself active by doing things with the kids that involve a lot of movement and at the same time keeping them happy.
Many people assume that keeping active means going to the gym and spending your free time running through the local streets or doing laps in the nearby park. Active lifestyles do not have to involve taking time out to specifically to work on your fitness levels alone, you could incorporate an active lifestyle into the activities you plan with your children, partner or extended family.
Zoos, Farms or Wildlife parks
It’s a full day out when you go to the zoo or a farm, you can have fun looking at all the animals, feeding lambs and sheep and just have a nice day out. There aren’t many places to just sit and the kids will soon get bored with just lounging on the grass as soon as the picnic at lunchtime is over. There’s enough to see to make you not notice just how much walking you’re doing and that’s the best part about these kinds of places; they don’t feel like hard work.
There are various zoos and wildlife parks across the country so it will not be hard to find one close to you. Bristol has just celebrated the opening of The Wild Place Project, a family attraction that has eco-systems from around the world on display. The first eco-systems included in the project are the Discover Madagascar, Edge of Africa and Secret Congo exhibits. At Discover Madagascar you will witness three different lemur species: Mongoose lemur; Ring-tailed lemur; and Red-bellied lemur, as well as guinea fowl and African pygmy goats. The Edge of Africa exhibit is home to zebras and eland and the Secret Congo features Okapi, one of the largest mammals to be discovered and a close relative of the giraffe.
The Wild Place Project is easily accessible, located just off Junction 17 of the M5, and includes a 150 metre long barefoot trail and gardens with trees and plants from around the world.
With this unusual bout of hot weather it is always a good idea to include activities that will keep you cool, but these do not necessarily have to be sedentary activities. Water parks are a fantastic way to keep cool, keep active and have some fun.
Water parks are quite easily accessible and even younger children can have fun in the baby and toddler pools with supervision. The Splashdown Poole water park has recently added a new ride, Velocity, to its already impressive collection and older kids will love the thrill of speeding down the water slides. If Splashdown Poole is too far from you, you can always try out the Alton Towers Water Park in Staffordshire, Aquasplash in Hemel Hempstead, Sandcastle Water Park in Blackpool or South Shields’ Wet ‘n’ Wild. Even your local pool might have some kind of family fun day on so check their holiday listings out too.
National Trust Days out
The words National Trust are enough to fill some people with dread, however the National Trust doesn’t just run those old properties that host The Antiques Roadshow as their reputation may imply. The Trust run a great number of event days during summer which will help keep the kids occupied and you on your feet.
The Trust is running its 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4 Challenge this year and if you have youngsters of around the 7-12 age group they will love this, and best of all you will have to tag along and be active with them! The range of activities include things like ride a canoe, climb a huge hill and go on a really long bike ride as well as not so tiring things like hold a scary beast and explore inside a tree. All these activities are bound to spark interest in your little ones and it gives you a chance to really charge about and release some energy.
Stay in but stay active
It’s clear that your whole holiday cannot be spent going out every day, restrictions like weather and cost can get in the way but staying in doesn’t mean staying still. Help the kids build a fort under the kitchen table or arrange a treasure hunt around the house. You could plan a bike ride that starts from and ends at home or you could just play tag and other fun games. The more active your day to day life is, the better you will feel for it and this way you can spend quality time with your children whilst maintaining an active lifestyle.
by Kath Webb
by Laura Briggs
by Kath Webb
by Kath Webb
by Jessica Ambrose